Instituted in 1908 the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was initially designated the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service Medal. The medal was a Naval version of the Volunteer Long Service Medal and its successor, the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal. At some point between 1936 and 1941, the title of the medal was changed to Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. It was one of a pair of Naval long service medals which were instituted simultaneously, the other being the Royal Naval Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, which had different time-served requirements.
The two medals are identical and can only be identified by the reserve branch abbreviation impressed on the rim after the recipient's details, "R.N.R." on the Royal Naval Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and "R.N.V.R." on the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Both were initially hung from the same all-green ribbon inherited from the Volunteer Long Service Medal, until a new ribbon was introduced for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1919.
When a third identical medal, the Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, impressed "R.N.A.S.B.R.", was added to the group in 1919, a clasp to recognise further periods of long service in respect of all three medals was authorised in an Admiralty Fleet Order. This was followed in 1942 by the approval of a ribbon bar rosette, to denote the award of a clasp when ribbons alone are worn
It could be awarded to part-time ratings in the United Kingdom's Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve after twelve years of service with the appropriate number of training periods and good conduct. Wartime service counted as double time for the purpose of reckoning eligibility for the medal. The clasp to the medal could be awarded for a second twelve-year qualifying period of service.
The medal was also awarded by several countries in the British Empire.
South Africa adopted the medal in 1915, two years after the South African Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve was established on 1 July 1913. (Naming includes letters RSANVR)
New Zealand adopted it in 1925, when the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (New Zealand) was established.
Canada adopted it as the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1938, when the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve was established. (Naming includes letters RCNVR)
In the United Kingdom, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and its equivalent award for part-time volunteer Naval officers, the Decoration for Officers of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, were discontinued in 1966, when the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve was merged with the Royal Naval Reserve. The medal was superseded by its identical sister medal, the Royal Naval Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, which could be awarded after fifteen years of efficient service.
Materials: The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants. The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.
Ribbons: Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed. Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.
Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.
Ribbon – Dark Green or Broad central green stripe edged in red with dark blue stripes at the ends. The ribbon colours are symbolic, with blue representing the sea, red the Royal crimson and green the original Volunteer Long Service Medal ribbon's colour.
Suspender - Straight
Type – Military long service medal
Eligibility – Part-time ratings of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Awarded for – Twelve years’ service
Established – 1908
Post nominals - none
Clasps – The clasp, decorated in a leaf pattern, was struck in silver and designed to be attached to the medal suspension
Description – 36mm Diameter. Identical to the Royal Naval Reserve medal, but distinguished by the ribbon and the naming, which includes the letters RCNVR, RNVR, RSANVR etc. The obverse bears the effigy of the reigning sovereign of the period (seven versions of the medal have been awarded), with Edward VII and George V in the uniform of the Admiral of the Fleet and later monarchs' effigies are the coinage type profiles. The medal reverse shows the battleship HMS Dreadnought with the motto ‘DIUTERNE FIDELIS’ ("Faithful Over Time" or "For long and faithful service") at the foot.
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